Tania Runyan: "Bonner Heritage Farm"




          —Lindenhurst, IL


All that’s left of you is your stern daguerreotype

on the park’s educational plaques. Shrieking children

clamber over giant epoxy eggs and cows


where your hay bales used to stand. You were not always

archived. When the last cliff of Aberdeen dropped

below the horizon, surely you wept into the heather


of Margaret's hair. When you nailed together

the first hickory planks, humming "Roslin's Castle," you must

have looked over the flat land afire with goldenrod. Home?


In the subdivision across the road, new lives pass in and out

of their patios, men assembling gazebos and grills,

women with their heads in their hands. A high schooler


throws down his lacrosse stick, slams the screen door, careens

around the corner in his Jeep. The shadows

of your grandchildren's silos spill onto the sidewalks.


What can we fill with our lives? Kids will be fed without a worry

this year, winter arrive without so much a log to be stacked.

But still, so much to unsettle us. So much work to be done.



Tania Runyan is the author of A Thousand Vessels (WordFarm), Simple Weight (FutureCycle Press), and Delicious Air (Finishing Line Press), which was awarded Book of the Year by the Conference on Christianity and Literature in 2007. Her poems have appeared in many publications, including Poetry, Image, Mid-American Review, The Christian Century, Atlanta Review, Indiana Review, Willow Springs, and Nimrod.